I REMEMBER when I first learned from Hahnemann that potentised medicines would cure the sick that it seemed to me a mystery. I had no knowledge upon which to found belief in such things. I began to practice with the lower potencies and with crude drugs in attempting to carry out the law, but with these means I was able to cure only superficial complaints. My work was far from satisfactory, yet it was somewhat better than the old things; it was milder than physicking and purging and emesis. Of course I rested upon my opinions and beliefs for my knowledge; everyone does that. Later, I resolved to test the 30th potency to see if there was any medicine in it, and I prepared with my own hands the 30th potency of Podophyllum with water on the centesimal scale, after the fashion of Hahnemann, having been told that water was as good as alcohol. This was during an epidemic of diarrhea that looked like Podophyllum, but I had no courage to give the 30th and still continued to use my stronger medicines.
One day a child was brought into my office in the mothers arms. She brought it in hastily, and it did not seem as if it could live long. It was an infant, and while it lay in her arms a thin yellowish faecal stool ran all over my carpet. The odor struck me as like that I had been reading about as the odor of the Podophyllum stool; it was horribly offensive, stinking, and the stool so copious that the mother made the remark that she did not know where it all came from.
I said to myself, this is the case upon which to test Hahnemanns 30th potency. So I fixed up some of the Podophyllum 30 and put it on the child’s tongue, and sent the mother home, fearing that the child would soon die, as it was very ill, face pinched and drawn, cadaveric, and it had a dreadful odour about.
Next morning, when making my rounds, I had to pass the house; I expected to see crape on the door. I did not care to call, though I was very much worried about it, so I drove past; but there was no crape on the door. I drove home again that way, although it was quite a distance out of the way, and still there was no crape on the door; but standing in the doorway was the grandmother, who said: “Doctor, the baby is all right this morning.” Then I began to feel better, thinking I had not killed the child.
That little child did not need any more medicine. After that I had quite a number of Podophyllum cases, and the 30th did the work to my astonishment. It was different from anything I had ever seen; the cures were almost instantaneous, it seemed as if there would be no more stool after the first dose of medicine.
I used the 30th all the season, and then made up my mind that if the 30th of Podophyllum was good, other 30ths would be also, and I ought to have as many of them as possible. I made a good many 30ths by hand, and finally succeeded in making up 126 remedies, some of them in the 200th potency, and these I used. Then I procured a set of 200ths and higher and practiced with them. I followed on in this way and in a few years I discovered that by giving higher and higher potencies the remedies seemed to operate more and more interiorly.
I found that a chronic case that would be relieved by moderately high potencies would only improve for a matter of weeks, but on the administration of much higher potencies the work would be taken up, and in that way the same patient could be carried on from one potency to another.
(From Lectures on Hom. Philosophy).